On This Day…

On the 29th July 1864 John Sharman Fowler was born

Lieutenant General Sir John Sharman Fowler KCB KCMG DSO was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1886 and served three tours of duty with the Telegraph Battalion. He took part in the Izazai expedition in 1892, was promoted to captain in 1895, and went to Chitral in the North West Frontier of India in 1896. He also took part in the Tirah Expeditionary Force in the North West Frontier of India in 1897. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and Mentioned in Despatches for his service on the North West Frontier.

Director of Army Signals

Fowler was Director of Telegraphs in the Orange Free State during the Second Boer War and later Commandant of the Army Signal Schools at Aldershot and Bulford. He was appointed Director of Army Signals in 1914.

During World War One Fowler was Mentioned in Despatches eight times and in 1917 was promoted to major general. He was the only senior officer who served on the staff at GHQ continuously from 1914 to 1918 and was knighted for his services.

In 1921 he was appointed General Officer Commanding the Straits Settlements and the following year he was appointed Commander of British Forces in China.

First Colonel Commandant Royal Signals

Fowler was appointed the first Colonel Commandant of the Royal Corps of Signals in 1923. He retired from active service in 1925 but remained an influential figure and successfully guided the Corps during its formative years until 1934. Fowler died in 1939.